Although that does have a lot to do with it. I also love pumpkins, squash, hayrides, and corn mazes. Crafts are fun and I love to decorate with scary things like skulls and ghosts. Oh, and pumpkin seeds are pretty yummy. This year I did some research to learn some new ways to decorate and ideas for used pumpkins instead of just letting them rot on the front porch. I am going to share some of my favorites with you all.

fall display with straw bales, pumpkins and scarecrow

Halloween Decorating

Fall decorating can be fun even if you don’t celebrate Halloween. You can use bales of hay and corn stalks with a couple of pumpkins to add a fall touch to your yard. But if you want to do some Halloween decorating, there are many options. You can do the really scary dead bodies and screaming skeletons, the nostalgic gravestones and cobwebs, or the whimsical cartoon character Halloween decorations for the kids. A wreath made out of plastic snakes is a fun and creepy idea for your door or how about one of those tree trunk faces to freak out the neighborhood kids? And spiders placed anywhere are scary no matter what. Or how about some giant eyeballs. Just paint some plastic balls white and draw on some red lines and any color iris with a black pupil in the middle. Voila! Giant eyeballs. In fact, I like that idea so much I plan on doing it for my yard.

corn maze

Build Your Own Corn Maze

Sounds pretty easy, right? Just plant a big cornfield and then chop a maze into it. Well, it can be easy if you have enough empty land to grow corn and the time to grow it well. The very first corn maze in 1993 was in eastern Pennsylvania and it covered three acres with two miles of paths to walk through. Don Franz of the American Maze Company takes credit for it and called it the “Amazing Maize Maze.” Pretty clever. The center was a giant dinosaur cutout they called Cornelius the Cob-asaurus. The first ones were done with short fields of corn about two feet high and were done with string, flags, and lawnmowers. They did not have the benefit of the GPS powered mowers that can help you draw a maze into any size cornfield. So, grow some corn or some really tall grass and make a maze.

pumpkin patch

The Pumpkin Patch

Growing your own pumpkins is fun if you have space in your yard. They seem pretty easy to grow. Just remember that you need a large area with full sun and a long time to grow them because they take about three months. Planting them around late June or early July would probably be good. They do best if you grow them from seed, so go ahead and plant the seeds outside in rows of small hills. When they are about three inches tall, thin them to about two feet apart. Make sure you water them well, about an inch per week, but try not to get the leaves wet. Feed them regularly with a high nitrogen formula and do not harvest them until they are a deep orange color.

Decorating Your Pumpkins

You don’t have to cut your pumpkin to decorate it for Halloween. You can paint it with colorful acrylic paints, draw designs on it with magic markers or sharpies, use stickers, or decorate it with pushpins or tacks. Make your favorite characters, scary faces, or design it to look like someone you know. You could also use your pumpkin as part of yard art like a scarecrow or one of those funny mooning scarecrows you see in other people’s yards. Use natural items like pinecones, sticks, and acorns to decorate your pumpkin or use glue and glitter to make it shine. Use your imagination or look on Pinterest or some other site if you cannot come up with anything you like.

beverages cooling in halved pumpkin

Don’t Throw Away Those Pumpkins

Pumpkins can be used for all kinds of things. First of all, if you did not carve your pumpkin, you can use the flesh to make a pumpkin pie or other pumpkin treats like pumpkin bread or soup. They are full of fiber, potassium, iron, and magnesium. If you have already hollowed out your pumpkin, use it as a vase for some fall flowers. If you are having a fall or Halloween get-together, you can cut it in half, fill it halfway with ice, and use it as a cooler for drinks. And finally, my favorite: use it as a bird feeder. Scoop it out, poke holes in it and use rope or twine to hang it from a hook or tree limb, fill it with birdseed, and watch the birds flock to it to feast. Take pictures and share them here. We would love to see them.